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Does my gearbox need to be aligned? If so, what are the tolerances?

Gearbox alignment is critical for a smooth and quiet running gearbox with long trouble-free service life.  If the gearbox is grossly misaligned, the driver (motor or engine) cannot transmit uniform rotation to the gearbox.  Consequently, the following problems may occur:

  • Vibration
  • Noisy running
  • Reduced bearing life
  • Premature gear tooth failure

The input shaft of the gearbox and the output shaft of the driver should be parallel, and the centerlines of both shafts should be in a common vertical plane.

Many different types and makes of driveshafts are being used.  The tolerances for the shaft angular misalignment vary.  Typically, a gearbox can tolerate larger misalignment than can a drive shaft. Rather, the tolerances should be obtained from the drive shaft suppliers.


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